Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ingredients for a Successful Bonfire


1. Big farm with a tucked away corner suitable for bonfiring

2. Good friends

3. Makeshift firepit and lots of wood for burning

4. Pandora radio cranking through pickup truck speakers

5. 3rd seat of a Ford Expedition serving as a love seat

6. Box wine

7. Good conversation

8. Lots of gloves, hats and blankets

9. A pregnant lady drinking O'Doul's

10. S'mores, of course

Christmas Hodgepodge

Our Christmas was wonderful. It was filled with bonfires, lots of time off, Love Actually and Dirty Dancing (twice), Super Mario brothers and of course more good food than you can imagine.

There was also a visit from Santa:


Who passed out from giving out too many gifts:


And an appearance by Tinkerbell:


And the whole fam gathered around our new river sign billboard.


Hope your holiday was as great as ours. And I hope the next four days goes by slowly, before it's time to go back to the real world.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Reindeer


Sugar would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday



Christmas Card



For those of you who haven't seen it, here's our Christmas card. After lots of research, I ended up ordering them from Cardstore.com.

This picture was taken on our camping trip back in October. I didn't post this pic then because I knew I wanted to use it for our card.

Happy Holidays from the Wades!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tightwad Tuesday, Santa Style

I already told you about my obsession with promo codes. I don't like to buy anything online without finding a promo code first.

This Christmas, thanks to the magical thing that is the Internet, I've formed a similar obsession for printable coupons.

There are VERY few gifts I have bought this year without using a coupon.

Sure, we all have coupons for Bed, Bath & Beyond, Michael's and occasionally Old Navy or Belk. But with a little bit of planning and a little paper and ink, you can score a coupon for almost every store you'll be shopping at this year.

My plan of attack is always to think about what gifts I want to buy and what stores I'll be shopping at a day or two before a shopping trip. Then I search for and print coupons for all of the stores I'll be visiting. Here are some of the sites I use:


I've found that you can consistently find coupons for: Macy's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Pier 1, Barnes & Noble, Belk, Bath & Body Works, Coach Factory Stores, Gap and tons more.

Also, if you live near a Kroger, they're running a good special right now. If you spend $100 on gift cards (such as Best Buy, Sears, etc.) you automatically get $10 off. Lee wanted to buy a $100 saw at Sears so I made him go to Kroger and buy a $100 gift card for $90. So we got an automatic 10% discount on the saw. I wish I'd known about it before we bought our TV at Best Buy after Thanksgiving. And ohhhh how I wish they sold Lowe's or Home Depot gift cards. I'd stock up on those bad boys. (Update - I just found out that this promotion ended on Sunday 12/13. Sorry!)

And if none of that works, you can always do like me and steal Target coupons from your Mom, who has somehow convinced Target to mail her coupons even though she lives in a town with one Target 20 minutes away. I have at least FIVE Target stores within quick driving distance of me, I order online from Target frequently, I fill my prescriptions at Target and STILL no mailed coupons. WHAT IS THE DEAL Target? Are you still mad about that time I raised such a fuss over that broken bottle of sunscreen you wouldn't let me return? Whatev.

(By the way Mom, that 'spend $150 get a $15 Target gift card' coupon I stole from you? I used it this week. Maybe I'll use that $15 on your Christmas present ;-)

Oh and one last thing. This isn't Christmas related but I just need to brag about the fact that I got a tub of sour cream for 9 cents last week. And Breakstone's too, not the store brand. The sour cream was on sale for $1.19. I had a 55 cent coupon and Lowe's Foods does double coupons.

Ok, I think have a problem. That's all I will reveal to you of my coupon-obsessed mind for now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

The Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes is the perfect excuse to show you all of our Christmas decor. Here's the outside of our house:


Thanks to some tutorials from my Giga last year, the wreath is made of fresh greenery (smells SO good) and I made all of the red bows myself. The garland is artificial garland that we spruced up with some fresh greenery (a great trick to make cheap garland look luxurious).



Inside, the color scheme is blues, silvers and whites. One of my favorite new things on our tree this year is the silver W from Restoration Hardware. And I love making presents fancy with pretty ribbon.


This ornament from Crate & Barrel is one of my favorites.


Coffee table decor. And sequined pillow that I LOVE and Lee hates.


Our mantle.


Monogrammed stockings.


Banister.


Big things are happening in our dining room. Full post to come on that later(!) But this was my first Christmas with a full size dining room table to decorate. Although I was prepared to spend some dough on table decor (most of our other decorations were bought last year so we didn't have much to buy this year), I played around with some things I already had (mainly due to lack of time to go shopping before our first Christmas gathering) and ended up with something I loved that cost zero dollars and zero cents.


The vases and pillar candles are repurposed from our wedding. The fresh greenery was free. As were the cute little pine cones that I made Lee and Sugar gather from the woods behind our house. And the silver beaded garland was left over from last year. You can't beat free.


Hope you enjoyed the tour!

This Week on Wades of 108

I know some of you were worried that I'd fallen off the face of the earth since I went two weeks without blogging a single thing. Well fear not. Here's what you can expect this week on Wades of 108:

- Christmas Tour of Homes post
- Tightwad Tuesday, Christmas edition
- Wordless Wednesday
- Christmas Card Carousel post
- Friday Link Love

If you found yourself missing me while I was gone, leave a comment now and then so I know you're out there and I'm not just talking to myself. (Although I kind of enjoy talking to myself sometimes, especially in the shower.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Music

I love Christmas music, I really do. But 2 of the 4 radio stations I listen to switched over to 24/7 Christmas music before it was even Thanksgiving. This would not be a bad thing if it weren't for the fact that they play the same songs OVER and OVER again. How many times can you listen to All I Want for Christmas is You, Step into Christmas and Run Run Rudolph?

Ok, scratch that. I love Run Run Rudolph. It never gets old.

But seriously.

OH and don't forget, some version of the Little Drummer Boy plays every 20 minutes. And you KNOW my aversion to the Little Drummer Boy.

The ox and lamb kept time? Really? REALLY?! That's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Anyway, if radio stations played some of the new Christmas tunes out there, or some of the good classics, I'd be a happy camper. Here are some suggestions:

Old Classics, New Artists
1. Baby It's Cold Outside - Lady Antebellum

You can't go wrong with Michael Buble
2. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow - Michael Buble (this is the only song I couldn't find on YouTube, so you're getting this version)

Or Andrea Bocelli
3. What Child is This - Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige
4. God Bless Us Everyone - Andrea Bocelli

I've always been a fan of Wham!'s Last Christmas. I love both of these versions by two of my favorites:
6. Last Christmas - Taylor Swift
7. Last Christmas - The Cast of Glee

But these "classics" still get me goin':
8. Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton

And then there's Lady GaGa. Yes, she has a Christmas song. Totally sacrilege. But pretty catchy, I must admit.
11. Christmas Tree - Lady GaGa, feat. Space Cowboy

Whew. I'm feeling more Christmas-spirited already.

Dinner Conversation

**This blog has been lame lately. I don't really have an excuse. Except that work is crazy. And life is crazy. You'll get over it.**

Me: I think I'm going to write a blog post tonight.

Lee: Yeah seriously. It's starting to make me mad.

Me: Why?

Lee: You had like two weeks off and you didn't write ANYTHING.

Me: Whatever. It was four days. And what do you care anyway? You're only going to make fun of whatever I write.

Lee: Exactly! I'm tired of not having anything to make fun of.

Gee, thanks a lot.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


What? Your Thanksgiving didn't include climbing a grain bin? Too bad for you...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Asheville Trip

This weekend we took a trip to Asheville with Lee's friend Brandon and his girlfriend Caitie to see the Biltmore. I had never been to the Biltmore before (Lee either), or Asheville for that matter, so I was super excited.

Lee and I both got sick last week, so we were a little worried about how the trip would go but we took lots of Kleenex and managed okay.

We left Saturday afternoon and checked into our hotel around 7:00. We headed downtown and had dinner at a little place called Mayfel's. Then we went to The Chocolate Lounge for dessert. Mmmm.

We had some time to kill on Sunday morning before our Biltmore trip, so we went for a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even though most of the leaves have fallen off, it was still so beautiful and the weather couldn't have been better. Here are some pics taken along the Parkway:






Finally it was time to head to the Biltmore. We decided to do the Candlelight Christmas Evenings tour so we could see the house all lit up for Christmas. Our tour of the house was at 6:15 so we got there around 2:00 to see the rest of the grounds.

The first stop was the winery.


After a lengthy tasting, we walked away with a LOT of wine:

Next we visited the farm, where we had the best. milkshakes. ever. from The Creamery and Lee and Brandon played dress up:

Of course the best part of the farm was the animals. I could have spent the whole day petting this horse:

And Lee was in love with this fat little goat:

Finally it was time to head to the house. We stopped to snap some pics before touring the gardens.


The conservatory:

We walked a long way to the bass pond so we could see the Boat House. It turned out to be this gazebo. FAIL.

Lee and Brandon had a romantic moment on a bench though:


I didn't get any non-blurry pics of the house after dark, so you'll have to settle for this sunset picture.

You can't take pictures inside the house, which was actually a relief because there's already too much to take in without the stress of trying to capture everything on camera.

If you haven't been there before, you'll have to take my word on it that it's amazing. And if you haven't done the candlelight Christmas tour, I highly recommend it. There was something magical about the fireplaces, trees and candles being lit, and there were carolers and other performers throughout the house. It definitely put me in the Christmas spirit.

There were three things that struck me about our trip to Biltmore:

1. It's mind boggling to think about a house of that size being built so long ago, in such a remote location, with such cutting-edge technology for the time. It would be a huge feat for today, much less 100 years ago.

2. The house is amazing, breathtaking, awe-inspiring and a million other adjectives. But I couldn't help but think "what a waste of money." Not the cost of admission -- the house is a one-of-a-kind experience that I definitely think is worth the money (or at least worth the discounted tickets we were able to score). But the actual house and grounds itself is so flamboyant. It would be impossible to justify a house like that today, even if you had all the money in the world. There are so many better places that money could be spent.

3. We've gone on 3 awesome trips in the last month and seen some pretty amazing things, all without ever leaving the confines of North Carolina. (See trips one and two here and here.) We really do live in an awesome state.

That's it for our mini-trips for a while. What other NC destinations should be on our must-see list?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One More Thing

I forgot to mention the best thing about Wishpot...if you see something on someone's wish list that you want to buy or have already bought for them, you can "reserve" that item so they don't get duplicates.

You can also choose to hide the reservation from the wish list creator. So, everyone else will know that the item is already reserved, but the wish list creator won't know that someone is planning to get them that item.

Helps avoid the hassel of friends and family having to ask around to see who's buying what off of a traditional Christmas list.

It might seem greedy or presumptuous to create a list of things you want others to buy you, but I'm in the camp that it makes things SO much easier for the gift giver. They're able to quickly pick out a gift you'll love and you get exactly what you want. It's a win-win situation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Making My List, Checking it Twice

I'd like to introduce you to a new site I found:

wishpot.com

Now, I'm not crazy about the name. If it's supposed to imply 'wish spot' then they should've just thrown in the extra 's' -- without it it feels like Wish Pot. Maybe it's supposed to be a pot for storing wishes? Instead it reminds me of wishing for pot. Anyway, I digress.

Wishpot is sort of like a shopping cart or wish list for the whole internet. See something you want, add it to one of your Wishpot lists via a super-convenient toolbar button. It stores the item, website, price and other important info.

You can create lists that are public (either viewable by everyone or only your Wishpot friends) or private. I've started a public
wish list for myself, a private list of gift ideas for others and a private list of decor ideas for the house.

You can designate a priority for each item: thinking about it, wouldn't mind having it, want it, really really want it, and I neeeeed it!

I don't think this will replace my traditional Christmas list, but it's a nice way to gather those things online that make me think "ohhhh, I'd like to have that."

So check out wishpot, get your list going, and add me as a friend.

If not, you're getting fruitcake for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Zombies, Lady Gaga, and Luigi

McKinney's in the Halloween spirit.

Today's Pub Thursday was complete with pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, and Halloween-themed snacks.

The studio got in the spirit and decorated their pods

Fish pumpkin complete with hook and worm

Blowfish pumpkin

The interactive producers' pumpkin: stemming from the constant request to "make it viral"

Spooky snacks


Lady Gaga and Boy George

The Mario Kart cast of characters

Barbie and Ken, complete with box

The Nationwide media team/pitcrew

H1N1 Virus

But nothing could compete with when the zombies and Michael arrived:

video

I heart my work.
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